Published: 24/02/2005, Volume II5, No. 5944 Page 7

The Healthcare Commission has found that only 77 per cent of accident and emergency patients surveyed last year believed their visits lasted four hours or less.

The figure from the survey of 850 patients visiting A&E and outpatients from June to August last year contrasts with the government's figures for the quarter from July to September, which showed that 96 per cent were dealt with within the government's four-hour target.

Meanwhile, 31 per cent of A&E patients felt doctors and nurses did not listen to them.

In both A&E and outpatients, a substantial number of patients said they were leaving without information about side effects of medicines and when to resume normal activities.

Patients also said they felt the standard of cleanliness in hospitals was getting worse. Only 45 per cent rated the emergency department as 'very clean', a 4 per cent decrease from 2003.

Only 53 per cent rated the outpatients department as 'very clean', a 6 per cent decrease.

www. healthcare commission. org. uk